Reclaiming the Garden

by Priscilla Lasmarias Kelso | July 30, 2006
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I

The gate, recalcitrant, begins to yield
As I push away the rusted chain
And the brambles that sting my skin.

I know this place.
I, a woman, shut out from this garden,
Now reclaim this piece of ground,
These pieces of memory in need of new tending.

No more the interloper
Or intruder, I give this space,
Vine-entangled, yet shielding fallow earth,
A new name.

II

Morning (or was it mourning?) takes me by the hand
To a clump of green—last year’s leavings,
Forgotten under the crabapple tree.

Contorted, tentative,
Stalks in lopsided angles affirm the sun,
Defying the shade, the weight of frozen soil.

Nothing is wasted.
As remnants of another winter
Await a season of bloom or blight.

III

As I pay attention to shadows by the gate,
To first light on delphiniums,
To the sidereal sky—

Like a child, I clap my hands,
Shout goodwill into the dark,
Catching a glimpse of metaphor
And touching the hem of gladness.